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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Clots & Anticoagulants

Question: Thickening Carotid Arteries

 pmu2002 - Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:00 pm

Hi, I recently had an Ultrasound done on my Carotid arteries and the results said that they were thickening. Is this something to be worried about and if so what can I do while waiting for a follow up visit?

 Dr. A. Madia - Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:13 am

User avatar Hi,

Thickening of carotid arteries, also called carotid intima media thickness [IMT] is an indicator of atherosclerosis. As age advences, the IMT increases by 0.04 mm for every 10 years of age.

In hypertension this progression becomes faster. IMT is also an early sign and predictor of hypertension, as it is seen in people who are non hypertensive and then they go on to develop hypertension later in life.

IMT is also a marker of atherosclerosis- hardening of arteries with fat deposition. Increased IMT is an indicator of possible future Myocardial Infarction and stroke.

If you are without any symptoms or disease now and all you have is increased IMT, you should start regular vigorous exercises, keep weight down, keep BP down if you have it, eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, cut down on salt intake as well as saturated fatty foods, amd in general lead a heathy life.


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